Seth's Place: serving dessert, coffee & hugs around the clock.
He cautiously lowers himself down in the seat next to me. I use the sleeves of my sweater to violently rub the tears out of my eyes. If only they'd just stop.
My breaths are ragged and I choke on my own words. "I-I I don't need a-anything, t-t thanks."
My face is wet and my vision is blurry, but the look on the stranger's face tells me that he isn't going anywhere.
"I'm sorry, miss." His voice is calm and soothing, as if he deals with situations like these all the time. "But it's only my first day, and it's my job to make sure that all my customers are happy and satisfied when they leave."
I laugh humorlessly. "A-as if food could m-make me f-feel any b-better." I raise both hands to my face, a failed attempt at trying to cover up my hideous state.
"Perhaps not," he admits. He counts on his fingers, ticking off one. "So maybe food isn't such a good idea. But how do we feel about coffee?"
I finally make eye contact with him, and I can tell that he's genuinely trying to make me feel better. He's not just doing his job. I take a deep, shaky breath. "No, I don't think coffee is going to help me e-either."
The stranger frowns slightly, and his brown hair falls in front of his face. "Okay, no coffee either." He ticks off another finger, leaving only one left sticking out. "So as it stands, you've said no to both desserts and coffee, which leads to the only other thing we serve."
I blink back tears. "And what's that?"
After everything that's happened today, I'm actually quite surprised at how well I'm doing, considering the circumstances.
"Do you need a hug?" And that's all it takes for me to fall apart.
In which Seth Wright spends the night trying to piece together Harper Quinn's broken heart.
(cover by @SurroundedByThorns)